'Child abusers could escape justice,' senior detective fears
A SENIOR detective has said child abusers could escape justice after dozens of victims from a notorious care home withdrew their complaints.
Colin Andrews, who is leading a third investigation into decades of abuse at the St William's home, in Market Weighton, said 53 cases have collapsed.
The offences – including rape and serious sexual assaults – had been fully investigated and were being considered by prosecutors when the victims pulled out.
Mr Andrews, a former chief superintendent and senior investigating officer, said: "Not only are people escaping justice because of that, but there are other issues, such as the safeguarding of children – we don't know what access they have to children now. They will have escaped justice for what they did.
Come and discover the wildlife at Blacktoft Sands nature reserve for just £6. Offer includes entry for 2 adults and up to 3 children, binocular hire and activities for children. Normal value £12.
Terms: Redeem voucher at visitor reception during opening hours, 9am to 5pm. Only, one pair of binoculars per voucher, customers will need to leave car keys as a deposit for binoculars.
Contact: 01405 800024
Valid until: Saturday, June 15 2013
"These 53 cases which have collapsed are offences of rape and serious sexual abuse. These are very serious matters."
The victims who have withdrawn their complaints are all seeking compensation for the abuse they suffered at the home, which took in children from across Hull and the East Riding.
All of the victims who have withdrawn their complaints are represented by solicitor David Greenwood, from legal firm Jordans.
The Mail understands the victims pulled out after disagreements between the firm and the police.
Detectives are continuing to investigate further claims of sexual abuse by victims who are not represented by the firm.
However, Mr Andrews said he is disappointed many cases which had been fully investigated have collapsed.
Mr Andrews said: "It seems to me that financial interests have taken primacy over justice because of the civil claim, which they feel is more important than the criminal case.
"These cases have been a complete and utter waste of police time, police resources, CPS time and the time and trauma of the victims, who have relived what they went through, making very detailed statements which are now never going to be used.
"It is not just the financial cost, it is the emotional cost to those victims. It should be about justice for what happened.
"The defendants could also never have had a fair trial because we no longer had the support of the victims to stand up in court and tell what happened. Without that, we had no case so the CPS had no choice but to take no further action and I agree with that decision.
"What we have said to people is, after the civil claim, if they come back to us and make a new complaint it will be very difficult because any defence team will question – and rightly so – why they pulled out when they had a chance.
"We have tried to explain that to the victims, that it will be very difficult if they come back after they get their compensation.
"I think it is an absolutely perverse decision, but it would be wrong for us not to have investigated it."
Mr Greenwood is representing 205 men who claim to have been abused at the home, which shut in the 1990s, in a civil claim for compensation.
Operation Reno was launched two-and-a-half years ago after the civil claim was launched.
Mr Greenwood said: "My priority is to ensure a successful outcome for my deserving clients.
"I have not advised anyone to withdraw their claim and the way the police pursue their investigation is a matter for them.
"My clients have decided they are more likely to achieve justice through the civil courts and I will support them."
James Carragher, a former principal at the home, is the only member of staff to have been convicted of sexually abusing pupils.
Last year, the Supreme Court ruled the Catholic Church and the De La Salle Order of Christian Brothers are jointly responsible for compensating victims.